Audi has officially revealed the SQ2ahead of its public debut at the Paris motor show next week, serving as a new flagship in the little crossover's line-up.
UPDATE, 4/10/18: We've now got more images of the SQ2, click here for the full gallery.
UPDATE, 29/9/18: Audi Australia has said its keen to add the SQ2 to the local line-up, and aims to have it in local showrooms before the end of next year. See bottom of article for more details.
Scheduled to hit European showrooms in early 2019, the SQ2 is powered by a high-output 2.0-litre TFSI turbo petrol engine making 300PS (220kW) of power and 400Nm of torque (@2000-5200rpm) – the same as the Euro-spec Audi S3 and Volkswagen Golf R.
That grunt is sent to the ground via Audi's quattro all-wheel drive system and a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. Audi says the all-paw drivetrain can send up to 100 per cent of force to the rear axle if required.
In terms of performance figures, the company claims the SQ2 can dash from 0-100 in just 4.8 seconds, on its way to an electronically-limited top speed of 250km/h (155mph).
The SQ2 rides 20mm lower than the standard Q2, along with model-specific tuning for the standard progressive steering system.
Compared to non-S versions of the Q2, the performance variant is distinguished visually by eight upright double bars on the front grille, a front splitter, a subtle body kit including a rear diffuser element with quad tailpipe outlets, and aluminium-look exterior mirrors.
In Europe, the SQ2 will be fitted as standard with 18-inch alloy wheels with 235/45 tyres, with larger 19-inch rims with 235/40 rubber available as an option.
Behind the wheels are 340mm front and 310mm rear brake discs, with black-painted calipers as standard – though they can be optionally specified in red.
Inside, there's standard sports front seats trimmed in leather/cloth combination, a front centre armrest, climate control, a sports multifunction steering wheel, matte-brushed aluminium trim inlays, stainless steel pedals and footrest, and a black headliner.
Available trim options include leather/Alcantara upholstery, along with nappa leather. Red air vent rings and a flat-bottomed steering wheel with paddle shifters will also be optional in Europe.
Audi's 12.3-inch Virtual Cockpit digital instrument binnacle will be optional in Europe, with grey analogue dials the 'basic' setup for models in that region – Australia will likely get the digital option as standard equipment, mind you.
If Virtual Cockpit is specified, the SQ2 scores various model-specific displays as per other Audi 'S' offerings.
An 8.3-inch MMI navigation system with LTE connectivity and WiFi hotspot, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, and an available 14-speaker Bang & Olufsen premium audio system.
Like the wider Q2 range, the SQ2 is fitted as standard with autonomous emergency braking including pedestrian detection. Available driver assistance and active safety features include adaptive cruise control with stop&go and traffic jam assist, lane-keep assist, a semi-autonomous park assistant, along with blind-spot monitoring.
Audi has confirmed the SQ2 will go on sale in the UK in 'late 2018' ahead of first deliveries arriving in that region during 'early 2019'.
Pricing information and more images will be released at the SQ2's Paris motor show debut next week.
Speaking with CarAdvice, Audi's local communications boss, Shaun Cleary, said the Australian arm is keen on the performance crossover.
"The SQ2 promises to be a thrilling performance car that would be extremely popular with Australian drivers in the dynamic compact SUV segment," he said.
"It is not yet confirmed for our market, due to complications related to WLTP, however our team is hard at work on this and we are confident that we will be able to offer the SQ2 in Australia before the end of 2019."